VARIOUS ARTISTS: The Creatures Wanna Dance : LP

I love the Ramones. The Cramps too. And so does damn near every one of the nine German, French, Danish and Austrian bands that make up this nifty comp. None of them are out-and-out ripoffs, but the singer for the Brain Eaters (to use just one example) has a serious Lux jones, complete with hiccupping vocals. Same with the Reeturners, who are none too subtle with their oozing guitars and horror movie lyrics about eating corpses. The Hi-Tops on the other hand, employ the all too familiar “I-don’t-wanna-(fill in the blank)-with-you” lyrics sung with a cheery, happy-go-lucky disposition. Others, like the all-girl trio the Elektras, are reminiscent of L7. The Grizzly Adams Band sound like they’ve listened to their Germs and early Social Distortion albums one too many times. “Baby Or Not” starts off with the guitar riff from “Lexicon Devil” with vocals supplied by a guy whose voice is a dead ringer for a young Mike Ness. The production values are appropriately trashy (and occasionally tinny) and it often feels like the musty, filthy days of early ‘80s punk all over again. If you’re not put off by the obviously derivative nature of these bands, then this album is really quite good.

 –eric (Swindlebra)